The Noble Game of Elephant and Castle or Traveling in Asia: Re-Introduction To a 19th Century Board Game

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What is Noble Game of Elephant?

The Noble Game of Elephant and Castle or Traveling in Asia is an interactive board and race game that will keep players entertained while learning. The purpose of the game is to amuse and educate young people of both genders. Adults, don’t worry, you can enjoy this game too!

When you purchase the game, you will receive a full-color board, and a rule book which has 84 pages that’s packed with information that covers Asian customs, events, and remarkable people. The package also comes with the Catalog of The Historical Games Collection, four “Travellers”, or the pieces that each player will use to move along the board. These Travellers are tipped with different colors. There are also 16 “Counters” or lightly-colored chips to match the Travellers (4 for each player). The last piece is the Teetotum – a spinning top that has eight numbered sides.



The game was first introduced in 1822 as a hand colored engraving by William Darton – a book publisher from London. Released at the height of the British Empire, this piece describes the appearance, customs, and culture of the locals, and comparing their way of life to that of the British.

The game is played on a board that depicts an elephant surmounted by a howdah (ornate carriage) with an Indian mahout (driver). The board is subdivided into 25 cubes which have corresponding historical information that players will learn at each stop. Historical information varies from the mysteries of the Orient, across the frozen Arctic waters in the north, all the way down to the Asian regions like India, China, and Japan.

How to Play


  1. Up to four players can be accommodated at the same time.
  2. The Teetotum must be marked 1 – 8 on each of its faces.
  3. Each player must have a Traveller and four Counters of the same color.
  4. To begin, all players must spin the Teetotum. Whoever got the highest number will be declared the first player. The second player will be determined by who got the second highest number from the initial spin, and so on.

The first player is required to read “The Caution” on page 4 of the accompanying game booklet, before the game officially begins. The Caution is a poem that talks about cheating and gambling – both of which are considered abhorrent to players.

  1. First player will spin the Teetotum to officially begin the game. The number that comes out from the Teetotum will be the corresponding spaces his Traveller will move on the board. The rest of the players will take their turn to spin and move their pieces as well, all while referring to the explanation for a Description of the Plates.

This is the part of the game that makes it different from other board games like, say, Snakes and Ladders, and other such pastime activities that share the same fundamentals. In The Noble Game of Elephant and Castle or Traveling in Asia, players get to learn about the 19th century history, the biggest news of that time, remarkable occurrences that marked a plate in world history, as well as historical figures that created a name for themselves through their remarkable deeds.

  1. There are instances when the game will direct a player to stop one or more turns. During this event, the player must place as many Counters on his Number and take one up each time, instead of spinning, until all of his counters are redeemed.
  2. When it was the first player’s turn to spin once more, he needs to add the number that turned out on his second spin to the number of the first spin that he got. For example: For the first spin, Player 1 got 6. So his Traveller now stands on No. 6 on the board. Suppose that Player 1 got 3 for the second spin. He will just add 3 from the previously acquired 6 so his Traveller should be standing now on No. 9 on the board. Second player will do the same, and so on. The game will go on until one player reaches No. 25, (A Gentoo), and wins the game.
  3. Players must land exactly on No. 25 to win the game. If a player goes beyond that number, that player will have to go back as many spaces as he exceeded then wait for his turn once more. For example: Player 2’s Traveller is already standing on No. 22 but he got 5 instead of 3 which would’ve let him won. When this happens, Player 2 must move 3 spaces towards No. 25 then go back 2 more spaces to use all his acquired moves. On and on, players will compete against each other until someone reaches Number 25.
  4. When a player spins and the number he got landed on a number with a corresponding Article that has a note, that player must refer to the page of the Notes for an explanation, reading it out loud for his fellow players.


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